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Nurse-led family planning clinic increases uptake of long-acting contraception

A drop-in family planning clinic, run by nurses in North Lincolnshire PCT, has helped to significantly increase the number of young women using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).

The ‘Choices’ family planning service was set up to increase the uptake of LARC – in line with 2005 NICE guidance – and to help reduce rates of teenage pregnancy. All 15–25-year-olds in the North Lincolnshire area can access the multidisciplinary service without an appointment.

If appropriate, a nurse can fit a patient with a LARC implant at the centre so they do not have to visit their GP. If it cannot be done at the time, a woman can contact the clinic for another appointment by text message.

Since the service was introduced in 2007, there has been a 91% rise in the number of 15–25-year-olds receiving the contraception implants, from 432 in 2006–2007 to 826 in 2007–2008.

Karen Elliot, clinical nurse lead for family planning services at the trust, said: ‘Young people don’t like making appointments and visiting their GP, so you have to make it easier for them to access services.
‘Choices is a friendly venue for contraception delivery for young people as they can just drop in,’ she said last week at the NICE annual conference in Manchester.

She added: ‘Previously, a facility like this just didn’t exist for young people in the area.’

Staff at the centre have also conducted a 12-month poster campaign on local buses and in cinemas.

The posters – which feature a choice of a new pair of boots or a pair of babies’ booties, or a new car or a baby’s buggy – are designed to tap into the lifestyle aspirations of young people and highlight the consequences of pregnancy.

The trust hopes to have figures on whether the service has affected teenage pregnancy rates in the area by February.

‘If 1,000 women took the pill for a year, 80 could get pregnant. Fewer than one would get pregnant using a LARC method such as a contraceptive implant or intrauterine system,’ added Ms Elliot.

See also: Increasing use of long-acting reversible contraception

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